Uncharted waters encourage mayor to forge ahead with positivity


Bartlett Mayor A. Keith McDonald

pamelaMIRABELLA Express Editor

In a time of national un-rest and a global pandemic, Bartlett Mayor A. Keith McDonald set out to reassure the tenth largest city in the state that things will turn around and there is a brighter future ahead.

The mayor said on Friday that although most people’s day-to-day lives have changed, it is important that folks realize that the community has been through hard times before, including a recession, and just like those former challenges, Bartlett will come back with resilient determination.

McDonald said his office has had to make adjustments with nearly a third of the time spent with handling COVID-19 issues. Now he has two main priorities…keeping the people within his city healthy and getting businesses safely re-opened. “Closing businesses for too long isn’t good for anyone,” McDonald explained. “We have tried to put a balance in the mix.”

The mayor, as is with m o s t mayors, a c r o s s the state, stays in contact and up-to-date through a weekly teleconference call.

McDonald and the other Shelby County mayors, there are seven municipalities in all, have worked closely since March, putting political differences aside to do what is best for their communities on the advice of the health department. “We just do not want our people to feel like they have lost their freedoms, but try to communicate for them to do what is best, not just for themselves, but all of those around them.”

“I love the people of Bartlett and have been fortunate for most of them to love me back. We have people in the community who are losing their jobs and their income, then you have others just scared too death for health reasons. I am in the midst of dealing with trying to keep people at peace with themselves and trying to do the right thing in the middle of this warfare going on in the nation. Our people just need the reassurance that we have good, hard-working people in Bartlett that will certainly rebound.”

Finishing the subject of the pandemic, McDonald said, “Regardless of how the residents feel personally, I encourage everyone to please continue to wear facial coverings. I know there are discussions between medical groups over which mask, does what, but I am a pragmatic-type person and realize that if I am wearing a face covering and the other person is wearing a mask, we are better off than we would be, had neither had a mask on. Also, think about what is best for family members or neighbors, it may affect them more severely.”

He smiled, “Let’s live to do no harm. Bartlett is a good-hearted community that has been able to work for each other’s good for years. We just now need to work to open our economy for the betterment of everyone.”

McDonald is in the middle of his final term after being a public servant for nearly 20 years.